The Hospitality Guru (cooking) Back to Basics: Caviar & Smoked Salmon

Caviar

Caviar is a term which is often used fairly loosely, but true caviar is the roe from one of four members of the sturgeon family – beluga, osetra, sevruga and Volga sterlet.

Eggs from the red salmon provide a low priced alternative. Cheaper still is the roe from the lumpfish which can be bought dyed either red or black. However, other fish roes, which are sometimes sold as caviar, are no substitute for the real thing.

Caviar should be served very cold, at 1C – 2C degrees, either in its original container or in a special crystal bowl on crushed ice. For service, use a spoon of gold, silver or bone (or ivory). Accompanied should include sour cream, chopped onion, chopped parsley, grated hard-boiled egg yolk and egg white, lemon wedges, and blini (buckwheat pancakes) or melba toast.

Smoked salmon

  • Smoked salmon slices accompanied by capers, sliced onions and quarters of hard cooked eggs can be placed on lettuce leaves, garnished with fresh dill sprigs and with slices of pumpernickel bread or rye crackers with capers.  Oil and vinegar should be available.  Horseradish cream also is a good accompaniment.

Smoked Salmon Cheesecake

2 cups toasted French bread in 1/2" dice
1/2 cup toasted walnuts (can use pistachios or pine nuts as well)
1/2 cup Swiss or gruyere cheese, grated
1 Tablespoon fresh dill, minced
1/2 cup melted butter
2 large shallots, chopped
3 tablespoons butter
1-3/4 lb. cream cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup heavy cream, lightly whipped
pinch of kosher salt
coarsely ground black pepper to taste
tabasco sauce to taste
dash worstershire sauce (OPTIONAL)
4 eggs
1/2 lb. Peninsula Alder Smoked Salmon, thinly sliced.

Combine first four ingredients and process in blender or food processor
until crumbled. Add to melted butter and press onto bottom and 2" up
the sides of a well-greased spring-form pan. Chill well.

Saute onion in butter until tender. Cream the cream cheese. Beat in
shallot, Swiss or gruyere cheese, sour cream, tabasco, worstershire
(if using) salt and pepper. Add eggs, one at a time, beating briefly
after each addition.

Fold in lightly whipped cream. Fold in salmon. Pour into crust.
Bake at 180 degrees until set (insert a toothpick into
center and if it comes out clean, your done!) approx. 45 to 60 min. Let cool, and chill thoroughly.

Before serving, bring to room temperature and garnish with fresh dill
and/or caviar and serve with bread (toasted or not).

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